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Turkey Tracks: 100 Watt Light Bulbs vs. (ugh!) CFLs

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Turkey Tracks:  July 15, 2013

100 Watt Light Bulbs vs. (ugh!) CFLs

I just bought 20 100-watt light bulbs on Amazon.

They are gone, gone here in Mid-Coast Maine.

I hate the new CFL bulbs.  They don’t have much light.  And it’s a weird feeling kind of light.

So, imagine my delight to see John Moody take on this subject in the Spring 2013 Wise Traditions, the journal of The Weston A. Price Foundation:  “Let There Be Dark:  Turning Off the Dangers of CFLs.”

John Moody is a Kentucky farmer with kids, a “beautiful wife,” chickens, a huge garden, and is an administrator for the Whole Life Buying Club and has written THE FOOD CLUB AND CO-OP HANDBOOK.  In other words, he’s a regular guy who just started poking around to learn about the new CFL lightbulbs that he, too, dislikes.

Moody notes that the phase-out of the incandescent bulbs (the 75 and 100-watts are virtually gone) has destroyed many American businesses.  The CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) is made in China.  And it was “known to have significant issues even before rollout.”

What issues? Oh, there are many.  We can go so far as to say we have been lied to and “managed” with regard to these bulbs.

The CFL bulbs contain mercury vapor–which is a real problem if you break one. 

Breaking one of these in a small closet is a real catastrophe!  “In the hour immediately after each breakage, the team recorded mercury gas concentrations near the bulb shards between 200-800 ug/m3.  For comparison, the average eight-hour occupational exposure limit allowed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is 100ug/m3” (http://www.nebi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2535642).

Moody notes that Wikipedia states the following:  “Compared to general-service incandescent lamps giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer.”  Moody notes that “unfortunately, researchers and reporters have shown that these claims are at times wildly false and inflated.”

CFLs do not produce the same amount of light–even after they warm up.  It takes two of them to equal the fire-power of the incandescent bulbs.  And they cost more–as much as FOUR TIMES more.  And, that’s the key to understanding why this change has occurred. 

Nor do they last eight to fifteen times longer than the incandescent bulbs.   The act of turning them on and off diminishes their lifespan.  And think how many times you go into a room and turn on and off the light switch before 10 minutes are up:  the bathroom, a closet, the kitchen for a drink, etc.  Only about two percent of these bulbs are recycled.

So, the CFL bulb doesn’t provide light, it takes 10 minutes to warm up to provide its inadequate light, it burns out with use, it’s FOUR TIMES more expensive, and it’s dangerous to dispose of safely.   Hmmmmm.  Do bear in mind this outcome is exactly how the so-called free market works when it is unfettered from the real needs of people and communities.  CFLs bring in more money.  Period. 

In addition, many people don’t like the light–they say it gives them headaches, causes eye strain, etc.  Turns out the coating on the bulb wears thin, which allows a harmful light that causes damage to eyes and skin.  In short, they are unhealthy. 

Amazon’s price is going up as the stock goes down.

Act now.

You might think about writing your congress people too.

 

 

 

Written by louisaenright

July 15, 2013 at 6:12 pm

One Response

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  1. Thanks for the clarification. I was feeling guilty for not spending the money for CFL bulbs. Cassie

    Carole Snyder

    July 15, 2013 at 6:46 pm


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